Tonight I danced. I danced deep into my legs and felt the energy of the earth rising up within me. I danced on my tip toes and felt airy and full of light. On my knees I reached for stars. Rhythms invited playful interactions and new discoveries of self and contact. Following the energies that were moving I found myself growling, then spinning and spinning and spinning… Swirling myself present, dancing myself clean.
When I arrived I had a different idea of how the dance might go. My headache was dominating and my mouth filled with deep sighs and groans. I felt constricted, in touch with my exhaustion, leaning into my ‘No’. It’s amazing what happens when you just show up. You say ‘Yes’ anyways, despite the story or the sensation telling you, convincing you, constricting you, into the belief that you just can’t or that somehow today this practice isn’t right.
Every Thursday, a nice sized room in Kapaa is lovingly set with intention and twinkle lights, anchored with an altar for honoring nature and themes of reflection, and lifted up into the realm of creative and authentic expression by the music that’s played and by the people that show up. It is a true place of practice, an unexpected, and maybe for some an usual, portal to presence and integration.
No matter how many times I show up, no matter how full or sparse the room, no matter if I like the music or not, something in me is moved in a way that allows me to reveal more of myself, both in the room and in my life. Sometimes that opening and recognition is just for me to consider and see, sometimes that opening happens dynamically in the shared energy of the room. And sometimes in the moments that I am open and present I get to really feel what it feels like to be seen. Each time is different, yet each time truly is profound.
I know it can be daunting to step into a new space, into unfamiliar territory. But the more we practice showing up for ourselves, pushing against our self made walls that keep us separated and trapped in our own stories, the more we begin to open and discover layers and layers of who we really are. Each time we show up it becomes an inquiry into our desires, our resistance, our self expression, our judgement, our authenticity, our willingness, our joy. And the more we discover, the more is revealed.
When we are willing to show up in the dance, to step into the room and find our rhythm amongst strangers, we develop our authenticity and empower ourselves to expand beyond the usual tendencies in our lives that keep us moving in confined ways. When we step onto the dance floor and let the rhythm of a song carry us we give our bodies an opportunity to tell their story and release whatever has been stored up or holding on.
Often times it’s easy to say No. ‘No, that isn’t for me.’ ‘No, I don’t dance.’ ‘No, that’s not my thing.’ Saying ‘No’ is easy. Its saying ‘Yes’ to ourselves that is a challenge; saying ‘Yes’ to the opportunity to really be with yourself, your breath, your body and the amazing ways it moves. (- And it IS amazing the way it moves and wants to move when we get out of our heads and let our bodies tell its story about who we are and what we long for.) However, it’s easier to say ‘No’ because somehow we are afraid of other people, people we don’t know (and sometimes even people we do know). We are petrified of being vulnerable or slightly wild, particularly without the excuses and liquification that alcohol or drugs can provide. We are convinced that it is somehow safer to say no, because if we don’t play than we won’t get hurt. When we say ‘No’ we hide, often times stuck and tucked away even from ourselves.
My invitation is to risk discovering yourself and the possibility that you might actually find something nourishing, and new, and wildly delightful when you step into the mystery. Say ‘Yes’ despite your resistance. Consider that your willingness, and your unique expression and authenticity, might be the mirror that someone else needs to see themselves more clearly. Play with the idea that the more you dance in the practice room, willing to be present with what is, willing to show up for yourself and stay with it, willing to breathe and move and be moved by the moment, that something magnificent will begin to happen. Ponder the possibility that you will begin to dance in your life more. You will see the rhythms of your day and better now how to respond to both yourself and the circumstances at hand. Practicing on the dance floor is a way to learn how to dance with real life.
For me the dance practice is an opportunity to recommit to myself. Just like my yoga practice, the more I commit the more my mind, body, and spirit connect and move together in a way that nourishes me in every moment. These body practices are the ways in which I cultivate, listen, and respond to my own deep wisdom. These practices put me in touch with my intuition, my creativity, and my deep desires. When I step into my body, when I dance, when I breathe through asana I am saying ‘YES!’ to myself. And lately I am learning that that willingness, that ability to say yes to myself is one of the most powerful tools I have for attaining the life I truly want.
I invite you to dance. I invite you into your body. Say yes to yourself. You’re worth it don’t you think?
Thursdays 7-9 pm
Golden Lotus Studio
Shake Your Soul
A Dance Practice